What makes a LEGO Con?

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What makes a LEGO Con?

Post by adamsonofwilliam on Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:01 pm

So, the question of "what does LEGO consider to be a convention" has been bouncing around my head for quite a while. It hasn't kept me up at nights, but it would be nice to have a concrete answer.

As our group has hosted a stand-alone LEGO event (BRICKSPO) for the past 4 years, one would think we'd be on the verge of con-status, if not already there. Having attended cons in the past, I thought to be a con, it must consist of the following things:
- LEGO displays
- building workshops / seminars
- games
- one-on-one AFOL time
- ceremonies
- public days
- AFOL only days

Currently, we pretty much hit all of those markers. However, the last point seems to be the sticking point when it comes to a show being a Con or not. Kevin Hinkle, our CEE representative recently posted an image (www.flickr.com/photos/kevinhink/24159525821/) of the various Cons in North America since he gained his position. During the comments, someone asked "what makes a con different than just a show?" Below, is his response:

"According to the LEGO Group, an AFOL Convention's primary purpose is to provide a platform for members of the AFOL community to immerse themselves in the hobby by engaging with their fellow enthusiasts and hobbyists. This is accomplished with a number of "private days" in which workshops, seminars, games, speeches and activities are held- some locations will have as many as three days dedicated to this! Then a couple days (actually hours) are opened to the public for a ticket price and thus offset costs to provide said platform. Reversely, an AFOL exposition's primary purpose is to share the hobby with a public audience. AFOL to AFOL engagement is limited to in between speaking with visiting public and perhaps set-up and tear down in the morning / evening. Essentially each AFOL convention hosts an exposition at some point within it's duration. However, the concept of "private time" and AFOL to AFOL focus is what separates the two classification of events. Of course, the community is welcome to disagree with our position."


So, as you can see, the biggest thing to make a show a Con are the AFOL-only days. Not a few hours during set-up, but full-on days. Something to strive towards...
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Re: What makes a LEGO Con?

Post by ManitobaMoe on Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:19 pm

I see the value in having time outside the public viewing hours but at what cost. Would having alone time be worth the cost of finding another venue for you guys? I current exhibit because I love interacting with the general public and seeing the expression on their faces. I have never been to a brick-con but been to 2 comic cons in Winnipeg and a couple of smaller comic/toy events/shows and don't enjoy it as much as the Lego shows I have been to. Guess lacking the experience of a Brick-con, I don't know what I am missing. I do enjoy Brickspo immensely!!

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Re: What makes a LEGO Con?

Post by CupIsHalfEmpty on Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:16 pm

Going by Kevin's definition I think having AFOL only days would be an asset the larger your AFOL base is. For MBLUG, and I assume SLUG as well we have small enough numbers that all AFOL's can get together on a semi-regular basis without much hassle. When it comes to city's with large AFOL conventions they have a much larger AFOL base and possibly multiple LUGS. having a convention would be a pull to bring all AFOLs together under one roof.

So what comes first, having enough AFOLs to host a convention or having a convention and attracting more AFOLs?
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Re: What makes a LEGO Con?

Post by adamsonofwilliam on Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:39 pm

CupIsHalfEmpty wrote:So what comes first, having enough AFOLs to host a convention or having a convention and attracting more AFOLs?

I would think the latter: if one is serious about hosting an official Con, you open it up to the world and hope for the best. For each year we've run BRICKSPO, we've had visitors from outside our LUG, which has only made the show better.

We'd love to open our show up to the idea of AFOL days, but because we're given our space (a museum) for free and it's public all day, it's hard to carve out an AFOL-only day. Until we change venues (ie: rent one ourselves), I can't see it happening.

One can dream though...
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